Trampoline vs Playset: Which One Is Better For Your Kids


We’ve had a house with a playset and we’ve had a house with a trampoline.

So, which one is better for kids to play with and is the best for your money?

To answer that question, we looked at the safety, setup, maintenance, durability, cost, fun factor, and a tie-breaker to determine that the playset is better for your money and kids.

Read on to find out if our reasoning is the same as yours.

Why the debate

In this day in age, it can be hard to get kids to play outside.

That is either because of the television or because of some other form of electronics.

So sometimes you have to give your kids a little bit of motivation to play outside.

And a trampoline or a playset can give them that motivation.

There are certainly some benefits to a trampoline and other benefits to the playset.

So hopefully the following can help give you enough information to decide which one you want.

Setup

The first time you set up a trampoline, it could take a few hours to do, especially if you are by yourself.

First, you have to put together the frame and the legs.

This will probably happen pretty quickly because all you are doing is putting some screws in the right places.

The thing that is going to take longer is putting on the springs and the mat.

If there is more than one of you, this can be done in an hour or so (longer if there is just one).

You attach one spring to the mat and then to the frame and continue around the whole trampoline until all springs are in.

How long it takes to put a playset together depends on the size of your playset.

You can usually pay the company you purchase to put the playset from to put it together for you.

For us, this would have cost a few hundred dollars and it probably would have taken a few hours.

I decided with the option to put it together myself.

This took about two weeks to do while spending an hour a day on it.

I didn’t have much help, so if you have more people, it could take less time to do it.

Overall, the setup for the trampoline is going to be easier.

Advantage: Trampoline

Fun factor

Trampolines are typically limited on what you can do on them.

The first option being you can jump up and down, including some flips and twists.

If you have multiple people on the trampoline, you could play games like “crack the egg”.

You can also purchase add-ons to the trampoline, like a basketball hoop or triple toss game to make it more fun.

Outside of that, you can be pretty limited on what you can actually do.

Plus, you are limited to the number of kids you can have on at a time, which again limits you on what fun you can actually have.

The playset, on the other hand, depends on what you purchase.

Most playsets will come with swings.

The swings can be used to swing back and forth, or you can jump off of them or perform backflips (please only do if you know what you are doing. I was once showing a friend how to do a backflip on a swing and he ended up injuring his arm).

If you purchase the right playset, it could also come with a slide and maybe even a spider swing.

This gives you more options as to what you can do with it, without having to purchase anything extra.

Also, you can usually have more than one person a playset at a time, meaning more people are having fun instead of standing around waiting.

Advantage: Playset

Maintenance

Once you have a trampoline set up, there typically isn’t very much maintenance you need to perform.

That is of course, outside of checking the screws on a regular basis and replacing any springs that are old or rusty.

The playset can sometimes result in more maintenance.

It has been said that if the weather gets too cold and you use the swing, the swing seats could crack and fall apart.

So if you live in a place that gets really cold in the winter, you may need to keep an eye on the swing seats and make sure they aren’t falling apart.

Plus, the playset is going to have screws that you need to check on a regular basis.

Our playset has a spider swing and one of the bolts came out while one of our kids was swinging.

This meant that our son fell off the swing and luckily didn’t get hurt too bad.

If we had been checking the screws and bolts more regularly, this might not have happened.

Advantage: Trampoline

Safety

Trampolines are notorious for kids getting hurt.

According to TulsaLegalFirst.com:

Trampolines continue to cause hundreds of thousands of injuries every year. According to NBCnews.com, even after adding the safety nets, there is not much of a difference when it comes to the number of injuries caused by trampolines. Just in the year 2006, reports provided by the Consumer Product Safety Review stated the estimated number of injuries was 109,522 from ages across the board from younger than 4 to older than 65. However, from 2002 to 2011, there were more than 1 million people who sought emergency treatment due to some type of trampoline-related accident.

https://www.tulsalegalfirm.com/trampoline-accidents-americas-most-dangerous-toy/

There are hundreds of thousands of children that get hurt on a trampoline every year.

This isn’t to say that trampolines can’t be safer.

If you spend a little more money when purchasing your trampoline, you can get a safety net and spring cover, and that should help reduce the injuries quite a bit.

This is not to say that injuries won’t occur, but that will probably be less frequent.

With the purchase of a trampoline, you might see your home insurance coverage go up with your insurance provider.

This is because insurance companies see trampolines as a liability and need to cover themselves.

According to CaldomSchwab.com:

50,000 children a year go to the emergency room with injuries sustained on playground equipment: that is 137 children per day.

https://www.calbomschwab.com/personal-injury-news/dangers-swing-sets-head-injuries-children/

So overall, the number of kids getting injured on playset is less than those injured on trampolines, but not by a whole lot.

With the playset, there is little you can do to keep the kids from getting hurt unless you make them wear a helmet and pads on their knees and elbows.

And seeing that most families are not going to do that, kids are going to get injured on the playground.

So, you might be better off with a trampoline, since you can add additional equipment that can keep kids safer.

Advantage: Trampoline

Durability

Trampolines come with a few things that could fall apart or need to be replaced.

The mat on the trampoline can go from being perfectly fine to have a huge hole in it at the snap of a finger.

Our kids have actually had competitions to see how quickly they can get a huge hole in the trampoline from just a tiny little hole.

Then we end up having to replace the whole trampoline mat.

You also have the springs on the trampoline.

If someone too big jumps on the trampoline or there are too many kids jumping, you could find yourself replacing the springs on the trampoline pretty often.

Not to mention, if you don’t take care of your trampoline during the wintertime, the springs could get rusted and would again need to be replaced.

If you purchase a safety net, this as well could need to be replaced or sewn on a regular basis to keep from getting in a horrible condition.

The durability of the playset depends on the type of playset you get.

The playsets made from wood, while cheaper than other options, won’t last you very long.

We once spent a few dollars to get a wooden playset from someone that had it out in the sun and rain for 5 or 6 years.

By the time it had gotten to us, it didn’t have too much life left.

I did the best I could to keep it maintained, but it just didn’t last us very long.

You could also put some lacquer on the wooden playset and that might help it to last a little bit longer.

If you spring for the more expensive metal playsets, those are going to last you much longer.

No matter how rough your kids are on the playset, it should stay pretty durable.

There are the swings and slides you need to worry about.

Depending on what the swing seat is made of, you might not have to worry, but kids do odd things with slides that you and I as adults would never think about.

So you could potentially be replacing a slide every once in a while.

But overall, the playset is going to be a pretty durable option for you.

Advantage: Playset

Cost

With both the trampoline and the playset, the cost really depends on what size you want.

The trampoline can be as cheap as $300 for a smaller full-size trampoline (mini trampolines are even cheaper), while the more expensive can get up to almost $1,300.

A 12-foot Skywalker trampoline goes for $319 (price at the time of this posting) and a full-size 17-foot rectangular trampoline goes for $1,295.

A gorilla playset, with two swings, a slide, a tire swing, monkey bars, and more, goes for $6,000, while a wooden swing set and slide go for $450.

The trampoline and playset give you a wide variety to choose from based upon what you are looking to spend, but I’m going to put the advantage towards the playset because you have so many different options to choose from.

Advantage: Playset

Tiebreaker

Because you can have more than one person on a playset at a time, I am going to give the tiebreaker to the playset.

Really the purpose is for the kids to have fun and no one likes to sit around and wait for someone to stop playing so they can play as well.

With the trampoline, if you are following the rules for use on the trampoline, only one person should be jumping at a time.

With a playset, you can have multiple people on at the same time, either swinging on the swing or sliding down the slide.

So everyone is having fun at the same time.

Advantage: Playset

Summary

A trampoline or playset gives your kids great options for backyard toys.

The trampoline gives the kids hours upon hours of jumping fun year-round.

The playset gives the kids multiple different options of what they can do to stay entertained.

When it comes down to it, you just want to entertain your kids.

In this case, the trampoline wins out based on the setup, maintenance, and safety of your kids.

But the playset wins out overall because of durability, cost, and the fun factor.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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